Macular Society

Pulsating squiggly lines

When I look at a blank white page I can see lots of squiggly lines criss-crossing and covering most of the page. The lines look white but are sourounded by slightly darker areas. I can also see this pattern on black background. As the image pulsates in rhythm with my heart beat it goes from light to slightly darker as if a light was constantly being turned off and on. I can also see this on the ceiling in dim light. I have only noticed this lately as it is not very conspicuous unless I stare at the page, but it may have been there for a while. It looks as if I were seeing my own vitreous gel just as one sees the bubbles after an injection. I have never had high blood pressure. Ocular migrane, which I very occasionally get, would not be there everytime I check. I get this in both eyes; I check them independently.

My right eye with dry AMD has a whole network of floaters and a fairly bad cataract.

My left eye with wet AMD has no floaters at all and the cataract is a little less severe.

I am puzzled rather than concerned. Has anyone else eperienced this? Any idea of cause?

8 Replies

Hi, I see pulsing patches of light and shade. Always have done even before eye prob (more obvious with closed eyes).


Thanks, eyesright. Just wondred.


Dear Ayayay80,

It would be worth ringing your ophthalmologist's secretary and posing the question. They will refer your query on to the ophthalmologist. They will be able to give you the correct medical explanation and obviously the response will be in relation to your eyes in particular.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of any further help. Our helpline is open 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday on 0300 3030 111.

Kind regards,

Macular Society Helpline


Thank you for that. Would this question not be too trivial? I do not wish to appear as if I were looking for problems, which I am not. I just wondered what the pulsating was all about. I know they are very busy people with more serious problems to deal with. But thanks again.


I have had similar sensations over many years. They come and go but I have never managed to relate them to any specific cause or reason. They have never persisted long enough for me to initiate any action.


Thanks rennatk. In my case I have been aware of them for a week now and they are always there. I am not unduly concerned about them as they are not very prominent. Unless things change I will wait and ask my cosultant at my next review in May. Again, thank you.


Hi Ayayay80 any change thats makes you anxious should be investigated ....its a long time until May ...its worth a phone call to put your mind at rest xxxxxxxxx


Thank you, JJnan. I guess you are right; May is a long way off yet. I will try to get an explanation sooner for the condition from the medical experts.

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